Category Archives: Catholic Sabah

SDYA has some new blood in its commission

SANDAKAN – The Sandakan Diocesan Youth Apostolate (SDYA) has some new blood in its commission when it organised its 20th meeting on 27-28 May 2017.

Twenty-six members took part in the recollection cum meeting at the Pastoral Centre Sandakan.

The new members came from Tawau, Lahad Datu, Beluran, Telupid, Paitan Mission, and Sandakan, including two full-time lay people, a religious sister and a priest.

Since Nov 2016, the apostolate has gone through a transition period of recruiting new members to serve as some existing members have served for over six years since their youth. Now that they are married and with children, they have decided to step down and put their family as a priority.

This has created an opening for new blood to come in, together with several members who have chosen to continue to serve in the apostolate.

Anna Teresa, coordinator of the Apostolate, in her introduction, said that the journey to serve does not always start smoothly.

“It needs the effort of all members to plant seeds of Jesus’ love and mission in your own hearts as youth leaders in your respective parish,” said Anna.

In the recollection, Sister Lilian led the youth to see how old and new members can work together harmoniously, taking the excerpt from Pope Francis’ 32nd WYD message, that the new must learn to appreciate the past, and that youth has the energy while the old has memories and wisdom.

Sr Lilian said that the new members need to know and be familiar with the roots of the Youth Apostolate to enable their journey to continue.

In the meeting on the second day, among topics discussed were guidelines of service, familiarisation of the Apostolate’s organisational chart, youth programmes in each parish and at the diocesan level, and challenges they are facing. SDYA

A pilgrim learns much about Korean Catholicism

JENNIFER CHONG, a young adult from Lifeline-College & Young Adults Ministry, Sacred Heart Cathedral, took part in the formation-based pilgrimage to South Korea on May 1-8, 2017, guided by formation director, Deacon Sherman Kuek. The contents of the formation are history of persecution, history of Catholicism in Korea, sainthood, martyrdom and relics. Here is her personal sharing.

P’ILSUNG!

Our bus driver loved to shout this while saluting me at unpredictable times which (almost) always scared me out of my skin. He was from the Marines as he flaunted his badge pinned to a cloth next to his seat. P’ilsung means “Sure victory!” is a motto declared as one salutes when in the Marines or Navy in South Korea.

We had just touched down at Incheon Airport. Soon we found ourselves en route to discover what South Korea has to offer. Of course, this was no ordinary trip. This was a pilgrimage. A pilgrimage to South Korea? Pilgrimages like those to Holy Land and Rome? That kind of pilgrimage? Yes. This pilgrimage is part of the Asian Church Series organised by Splendour Project. Admittedly, I signed up for this largely because I have longed to visit this country. Secretly, I wanted to bump into any of the cast of Running Man.

Whilst drifting in this imagination, my roommate and trip partner-in-crime, Felicity, struck up a conversation. We had only first met when at the airport. But who knew we had such good chemistry from the start. Felicity had visited South Korea back in 2014 for the 6th Asian Youth Day and shared one of the stories she learned of.

Persecution of the Catholics

Back in the days of persecution of the Catholics in the 18th and 19th century, there was a time where soldiers raided a village of Catholics. They had been hiding and staying at this village to avoid capture. The villagers told the soldiers that they knew they were there to bring them to Haemi Castle to be executed. But since it was late, the villagers offered the soldiers their place to stay and rest. The next day, the villagers marched with the soldiers towards Haemi Castle to face the inevitable onslaught. On the way to Haemi Castle, a child asked his mother: “Where are we going?”  The mother replied: “To meet Jesus.”

This story brought me back to reality…the reality of my faith. Why did the villagers not run when they were raided? Even offering their persecutors a place to rest before facing their execution? How is the mother so peaceful to comfort her child with such simple yet powerful words?

It dawned on me that this is the nature of martyrdom. Martyrdom is one that accepts persecution with peace whilst standing on the truth. When Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, he did not say to us: “Repent! Then I will die for your sins.” No. Jesus died for us while we are still sinners. This is the attitude we need to bring with us when sharing God’s love to others. A love that is absolutely unconditional. This story was the pivotal point to my life-changing experience in this pilgrimage.

What amazed me as much as the courageous martyrs of South Korea, is the fact that Catholicism entered the country via lay people through books, not missionaries. It is interesting that in those days, Catholicism was seen as a religion of modernity and science. Yet now, the faith is often mistaken to be quite the opposite in our days of relativism.

Korean Catholic youths in late 18th century

In the late 18th century, the youth wanted to learn how to build cranes for constructing larger buildings and how the earth goes around the sun – instead of debating abstract and scholastic ideas. But this was not a matter of interest in the neo-Confucianism era and the intellectual questions were regarded as irrelevant and trivial. Naturally, these young people began to read Western treaties on technology, astronomy, and physics. Such books were being imported into Korea from China since the early 1700s and retained a number of positive references to Christianity. Eventually, these young intellects read other translated Christian texts as well. Many of them felt that they had finally found the truth and embraced the Faith.

This was just a snippet from the vast sea of historical information and reflections that was prepared in the booklet prepared by our formation director, Deacon Sherman Kuek especially for the pilgrimage. Deacon Sherman also prepared us through daily formation before we set out – which I am sure the pilgrims agree, helped us delve deeper in our reflections during the pilgrimage.

Martyrdom gives some more when nothing is left

As we stood before the few tombs of martyrs at Chon Jin Am, the local priest that hosted us shared some stories relating to the martyrs. One entails a father willing to kill his son for his faith so to keep their influence and power in society. Others were executed in various ways, including decapitation. Even our non-Christian tour guide cum translator started choking at the stories told upon hearing the stories for the first time. Standing in a circle, the priest then asked us to put our hands on our heart and recite: “Jesus loves me, as his heart is shattered”. After repeating twice, he then asked us to go round the circle and recite to each person: “Jesus loves you, as my heart is shattered.”  It was clear that most of the pilgrims were moved and this was a moment of closeness for us.

Shattered. One might be familiar with the phrase “taken, blessed, broken, given” which is reflected upon in Henri Nouwen’s book, The Life of the Beloved which echoes the life of Jesus – who was taken, blessed by God, broken on the cross, and given to the world. To be given for the world, we need to first be broken as Jesus was. I used to think that martyrdom means to be caught for my faith and to die for it. I learned from the Korean martyrs, that really, being a martyr is to be a witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Simply put, martyrdom is by giving until I have no more to give – and when I have nothing left to give, to give some more.

Truly, their fervour in the Christian faith is as such that they would not renounce their faith even at times of great oppression. It is no wonder Catholicism thrived even during grave persecution for a prolonged period. For the Korean Catholics to calmly and courageously receive from God the glorious crown of martyrdom is a conviction that Christ has trampled over sin and death. Seeing the staunch and unwavering faith of the Korean Catholics, one cannot help but be inspired by their lives and confidence in Christ’s sure victory! P’ilsung!

This is a more personal account of the pilgrimage to South Korea. For the main article of the pilgrimage, visit www.splendourproject.com/blog. The Splendour Project will be organising another pilgrimage to South Korea in March 2018. Head over to www.splendourproject.com/pilgrimages for more information.

 

PYD6 coordinator says preparation will be more organised this year

PENAMPANG – The coordinator of the Penampang Youth Day-6 (PYD6), John Moinjil, said that this year’s preparation will be more organised in terms of logistics, safety, and cleanliness.

He said this at the organising committee meeting here in Penampang on 23 May 2017.

The bi-annual PYD  with the theme, ‘Do Not Be Afraid (Jeremiah 1:8), I Want To Serve’, is fully geared for the four-day event which is expected to draw over 500 youths from seven zones within the parish, as well as invited delegations from neighbouring parishes of Dontozidon, Inobong and Terawi. The event is to be held from Aug 31 to Sept 4  at St Michael Parish Hall.

The programmes are planned with youth trends in mind so as to help them to live their Christian life in the ways according to the teachings of the Church by engaging in the digital.

The first activity will be the 10km PYD6 Charity Run which will be flagged off on June 18.  So far more participants have registered compared to last year because of the greater awareness campaign being carried out by the committee through the social media. – SOCCOM Penampang

MYTC holds annual graduation ceremony for 73

One of the graduates receives his certificate from the guest of honour, MYTC Kinarut, 27 May 2017.

KINARUT – Montfort Youth Training Centre (MYTC) held its annual graduation ceremony for 73 successful trainees who made it through their tough two-year training programme with much resilience and perseverance.

The Batch 17 Graduation Ceremony held on 27 May 2017 was officiated by YBhg Datuk Chin Chee Kee, JP who is the Chairman of the Yayasan Kinabalu Berhad.

The happy occasion was witnessed by proud parents who came from as far as Kuching, Sarawak .

Joining the graduates in this joyful moment were the teachers, instructors, and staff together with the Brothers of St Gabriel, Board of Governors, Management, Heads of various Government Department, donors, benefactors and friends of Montfort.

Datuk Chin, in his address, urged the graduates to use the skills and training they had received from Montfort to start their careers. He encouraged them to aim higher for the future, and strive to become their own boss one day. He urged them to go the extra mile in their work, and not to look for an easy way out.

Earlier, in his welcoming address, Brother Francis Xavier Gasper, MYTC Director, said that when these graduates first came to Montfort, there were 88 of them. A majority of the graduates did not complete their formal education having dropped out of school as young as primary school. Yet, despite this disadvantage, 73 of them stuck it through their two-year journey and passed their Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM).

A total of 10 graduates achieved a “Trampil Cemerlang” or Distinction in their final SKM examination which included six from Welding Department and two each from Carpentry and RAMD (Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Mechanics – Domestic) Departments.

Nine of the welding graduates also passed their 6G Welders’ Certification while another seven passed their 3G Certification from The Welding Institute (TWI). Most of the graduates had not completed their formal education while some of them had only gone through primary schooling, prior to joining the Montfort’s two-year programme.

Despite the current poor economic trend, a good number of the graduates managed to secure employment with established companies based in Sabah, Labuan, Kuala Lumpur and Penang under Montfort Job Placement Scheme while some had expressed their intention to further their study to SKM Level 3 and Diploma.

Some expressed their confidence to look for jobs themselves, including Jonathan Chua who shared in his testimony that Montfort had trained him to be independent and helped him to grow in confidence in himself and for himself.

Another graduate, Fredoline Soukin, who was only schooled up to Primary Six, said that it is in Montfort that he learned how to speak, read and write in English. Starting with only two English words of “Yes” and “No,”  Fredoline went up to the stage and delivered his testimony in English.

On the other hand, Nicklonero Nasum, who is a Form One dropout, said that it was while staying at home seeing his friends going to school that he regretted not completing his schooling. While working with Bukit Harapan, he realised that he wanted to learn some skills in order to face the world confidently and to help his family.

These three graduates have received the Most Improved Trainee Award for showing tremendous progress in their personal growth development and in their skills.

Among the graduates were  18 automotive mechanics, 20 welders, 16 carpenters and 19 air-conditioning technicians. Montfort PAD

Pope Francis offers 7 tips for being a better father

Pope Francis dedicated an excellent reflection to the beauty of fatherhood and the danger of absent fathers.
Here are 7 tips from Pope Francis for being better fathers and for growing along with your children:

1. A father doesn’t want children just like himself, but wise and free ones:
I will be happy every time I see you act with wisdom, and I will be moved every time that I hear you speak with rectitude.  And that you might be like this, [wise,] I taught you the things you didn’t know, I corrected the errors you didn’t see. I made you feel a profound and at the same time discrete affection.

2. Rigor and steadfastness, rather than complicity and protection. Better to be a misunderstood father than a weak one.
I gave you a testimony of rigour and steadfastness that perhaps you didn’t understand when you would have liked only complicity and protection.  A father knows all too well what it costs to hand down this heritage: how close, how gentle and how firm to be. But what consolation and what recompense he receives when the children honour this legacy! It is a joy that rewards all the toil, that overcomes every misunderstanding and heals every wound.

3. A father who is present in the family, is close to his wife and children.
A father who is present in the family should be “close to his wife, to share everything, joy and sorrow, hope and hardship. And … he [should] be close to his children as they grow…”  A father who is always present: “when they play and when they strive, when they are carefree and when they are distressed, when they are talkative and when they are silent, when they are daring and when they are afraid, when they take a wrong step and when they find their path again.

4. A father who is present is not necessarily a controlling father.
To say ‘present’ is not to say ‘controlling’! Fathers who are too controlling cancel out their children, they don’t let them develop.

5. A good father is a patient father.
What dignity and what tenderness there is in the expectation of that father, who stands at the door of the house waiting for his son to return! Fathers must be patient. Often there is nothing else to do but wait; pray and wait with patience, gentleness, magnanimity, and mercy.” (‘prodigal son’ or better yet ‘merciful father’ Lk 15:11-32)

6. Know how to forgive and not humiliate, but without being weak or complacent.
A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart. Certainly, he also knows how to correct with firmness: he is not a weak father, submissive and sentimental. The father who knows how to correct without humiliating is the one who knows how to protect without sparing himself.

7. The Our Father is brought to life in fatherhood that is forgiving of failure.
Without the grace that comes from the Father who is in Heaven, fathers lose courage and abandon camp. But children need to find a father waiting for them when they come home after failing. They will do everything not to admit it, not to show it, but they need it; and not to find it opens wounds in them that are difficult to heal. – aleteia

Fathers and daughters – Is this a missing key to modesty today?

We often speak today of the terrible toll that fatherless homes have on young boys. And this is true. Without a reasonably good (even though not sinless) model of manhood and responsibility, many boys lose their way. Fathers also play a large role in disciplining boys, especially as they grow older and become stronger than their mothers.

But missing fathers also bring forth terrible effects on many girls. Women, even young girls, certainly do seek and desire the love and appreciation of men and have a desire to be thought of as precious, beautiful, and lovable. Ideally, a father is able to model for his daughter that a man can appreciate and love her for her own sake, apart from merely her physical charms and “curves.”

Learning this seems critical for a young girl, who is then able to discern the difference between this and the love of other men who may desire her in a more sexual way. That they have sexual desire for her is not wrong per se, but neither is it wrong for her to know that she is lovable for her own sake. Simply loving her for her physical charms is lust. True love is loving her for her own sake. And even if sexual attraction is part of the picture, it is only part and she can know the difference. Having recognised that a man (in the first case her father) can love her in this fuller way, she is able to insist on it and discern when a young man’s “love” is too narrow.

However, when a young girl does not learn this from her father, she likely still craves the approval of men. But not having learned from her father how to discern the attention of men and not having experienced that she is lovable for her own sake beyond mere physical beauty, she will often confuse the attention that is lust with the love and approval she really seeks.

While I am no professional sociologist, it seems to me that there is a rather strong correlation between the decline of fathers in the home and the rise of immodesty among women. As a man, I find this rise odd and ponder why immodesty is so widespread among women. Why do so many women like to wear short skirts and tight clothes (which seem so uncomfortable) and walk about beaches in a state of almost complete nudity (bikinis)? Something is amiss and way out of balance.

At one level, I have come to discover (through discussions with women on the issue of modesty) that many (especially younger) women really don’t have any idea the effect that they have on men. I have confirmed this in discussion with our Sunday school teenagers. In discussions moderated by women, many young girls just haven’t figured it all out yet. When asked, “Why do you dress that (provocative) way?” they often say, “I don’t know, it’s … like … y’know … comfortable??? … It’s like … cool???”

While some of them may be fibbing, and really do know why, I don’t doubt that, to some degree, there is an innocence about what they do that needs to be schooled. In the past, fathers could help in this regard. Some years ago I remember a remarkable little passage by John Eldridge, in the Book, Wild at Heart that decoded something I have noticed even in the youngest girls:

And finally, every woman wants to have a beauty to unveil. Not to conjure, but to unveil. Most women feel the pressure to be beautiful from very young, but that is not what I speak of. There is also a deep desire to simply and truly be the beauty, and be delighted in. Most little girls will remember playing dress up, or wedding day, or twirling skirts, those flowing dresses that were perfect for spinning around in. She’ll put her pretty dress on, come into the living room and twirl. What she longs for is to capture her daddy’s delight. My wife remembers standing on top of the coffee table as a girl of five or six, and singing her heart out. Do you see me? asks the heart of every girl. And are you captivated by what you see? (Kindle edition Loc 367-83)

Perhaps it is this innocence that has gone somehow wrong, has been untutored, causing some young girls to dress immodestly. And many of them bring that into adulthood.

But even if their intentions are innocent, it is not wrong to teach girls that not everyone views their display so innocently and further that some boys/men are deeply troubled by the temptation it brings, especially as these girls get a bit older.

There is surely a time to provoke and celebrate a sexual appeal and joy: in the marriage bed. But outside this context, women ought to be seen more richly as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, teachers, and scientists, indeed as whole persons with interests, needs, concerns, and richly varied lives. Fathers can have a critical role in teaching this to both their sons and their daughters.

In the past when I saw an immodestly attired young woman I would ask, “Where is her mother?” Increasingly I also ask, “Where is her father?” She doesn’t seem to understand men. She wants the attention of men but in a way that presses all the wrong buttons. Maybe she’s never considered that a man can and should love her for her own sake, beyond her physical attributes. Maybe she never had the chance to twirl her skirts before a father who delighted in her but without sexual motives, who could tell her she was beautiful and wonderful without the desire to exploit. Maybe she’s still craving this delight but is now twirling her skirts and revealing her beauty to men who cannot, or will not, admire her with such pure motives. And maybe she can’t tell the difference between lust (exploitative desire) and love (desire of her for her own sake) because she never had a father, a good father, there to model the difference.

Anyway, I know women are complicated and that I’m probably going to get killed by both women and men for this post. But before you lay me out, consider for your comment why you think immodesty is so widespread in our culture? I would appreciate it if we could avoid the “men are pigs” or “these young girls dress like sluts” types of comments. I’m looking for understanding more than venting. I know we all have strong opinions about this topic and that some don’t believe there is, in fact, any immodesty at all (even in a tiny bikini – a view I think that requires real denial or serious blindness). But the point I’d like to ponder is why. – Msgr Charles Pope

Stella Maris remembers blessings with simple celebration

The parishioners in their traditional attire, 14 May 2017, tg aru.

TANJUNG ARU – Over the weekend of 13-14 May 2017, Stella Maris Parish (SMP) here remembered God’s blessings with a simple thanksgiving celebration.

SMP celebrated a 4-in-1: the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions of Mary to three shepherd children at Fatima, Mother’s day, Msgr Primus Jouil’s 37th priestly anniversary, and Kaamatan Festival.

To commemorate the centenary feast, assistant pastor Father Peter Abas gave a talk on Mary, before celebrating the sunset Eucharist May 13. The statue of Our Lady was carried in procession into the Church before Mass, and blessed by Fr Abas after the crowning, which was done by a little girl after the homily.

Parish priest Msgr Primus Jouil blessed all mothers at the Sunday BM Mass in conjunction with Mother’s Day May 14.

He paid tribute to all mothers who have been graced to balance their life as a working mother and at the same time contributing positively to family, church, and society. He acknowledged, “Women play an important role in any community and contribute positively and extensively.”

In his sharing during the opening of the parish Kaamatan, Msgr Primus extended his gratitude to the organisers and parishioners for celebrating his 37th priestly anniversary.

He shared that life is fragile and called on the people to treasure the gift of life each day.

Msgr Jouil then cut the padi stalks to launch the festivities symbolically. Most parishioners came in their traditional attire.

The families came together bringing a dish each, which included the traditional tuhau, hinava and other local delicacies. – Jeremy Chin/Teresa Alberto

Protect and preserve your culture, says KK prelate

Abp Wong beats the gong to launch the harvest festival, 14 May 2017, Limbanak.

PENAMPANG – Archbishop John Wong urged the people to protect and preserve their beautiful culture through the generations in his speech when launching the 20th Penampang Parish-level Kaamatan Festival on 14 May 2017.

“Maintain your culture. Be guided by the Holy Spirit so that your culture may be preserved not only for this celebration but that it may be protected from one generation to the next,” he said at the launching after the Mass at St Aloysius Limbanak.

The prelate also marvelled at how the colourful season of thanksgiving has enabled people of various ethnicity to celebrate together the month-long festivities in May each year.

Parish pastoral chairman Lawrence Bisuil highlighted the theme chosen for the celebration “Memurnikan Budaya Melalui Kuasa Roh Kudus” and echoed the prelate’s call to depend on the Holy Spirit to sanctify the culture.

In turn, assistant pastor Father Wiandigool Runsab stressed on the importance of the mother tongue by quoting the popular saying ‘When the language dies, so does the culture.’

Fr Runsab urged the parents to take pride in teaching their children and to be effective in passing on the dialects of their forefathers.

Among the various programs organised during the week-long celebration hosted by Limbanak zone were the Kadazan Language Gospel reading for school children for multiple age groups, composition of hymns, choral singing, and traditional sports activities.

The highlights of the celebration were the gong beating and the traditional food competitions.  – SOCCOM Penampang

Trump and Francis

PRESIDENT Donald J Trump’s audience at the Vatican with Pope Francis was the first meeting between the two men. Speculation was wild about what would occur at this meeting.  Contrary to some reports, it was not tense. It was simply another visit of a head of state to the Vatican.

The New York Times, among other news agencies, reported that Rome was inaccessible and the area around the Vatican was “shut down,” due to the president’s visit. In fact, this was not the case at all. One local priest reported to us that it was just another day around the area of St Peter’s Basilica. There was no more visible security than there would be for any other regular Wednesday audience.

The meeting between the Holy Father and the president was not cut short. The 30 minutes allotted is the usual amount of time given by the Holy See for such a meeting.

The focus by many in the media was on everything except what was really happening.

Perhaps the most egregious article was in a New York Magazine article (May 24) by Sarah Spellings, entitled “The Pope Mercilessly Dragged Donald Trump.” This article is so biased that it is amazing that it could actually be published.

Ms Spellings makes three bold statements, the first of which claims that “The Pope (jokingly) body shames the President to his wife.” The Holy Father, in fact, was engaging in playful repartee with the First Lady and the whole statement is taken out of context, attributing a certain meanness and unprofessionalism to our Holy Father.

The second statement that “The Pope gives a very subtle gift,” meaning that the gift of the writings of the Holy Father, including “Laudato Si’,” was specially chosen to “shame” the president. Wrong! It is customary for leaders of nations to be given a copy of the writings of the Pontiff as a gift. No such subtle message intended!

Finally, Ms Spellings claims “The Pope falls silent,” meaning that he did not have a big grin on his face in the photo taken with the First Family, as did the president. There are thousands of photos of the Holy Father taken in the course of his lifetime and, in many of those photos, he’s not grinning from ear to ear.

The real takeaway from this encounter was a successful dialogue on “their joint commitment in favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience” and “the hope for serene collaboration between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of health care, education and assistance for immigrants,”  as well as the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue.   Instead, many in the media chose to use it as another opportunity to slam. – Tablet

 

MCYMC participates in international youth conference

ROME – Two Malaysia Catholic Youth Ministers Committee (MCYMC) delegates participated in an international youth conference in Rome on 5-9 April 2017.

The two were Sr Terry Loukang fsic of Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese and Jacinta Fernandez of Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese.

The event themed From Krakow to Panama Conference: The Synod Journeying with Young People was held a the International Pontifical College Maria Mater Ecclesiae Rome.  It analysed the Krakow World Youth Day (WYD) in preparation for the 2019 WYD in Panama as well in preparation for the 2018 Synod of Bishops.

The c0nference was organised by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

The event gathered 300 delegates from 100 countries from all continents around the globe. Each episcopal conference, movement or community sent its delegates consisting of young people, priests, religious and laypeople to the conference to discuss ways the dioceses could prepare their youths for participation in the WYDs.

As for the preparation for the next WYD, the delegates were given time to speak during the conference, and the dicastery collected various experiences of evangelisation of young people in the world, as part of the ongoing synod works until 2018.

The novelty of this event was that the first two days were dedicated to the presentation of the Preparatory Document of the next Synod of Bishops.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and Bishop Fabio Fabene, Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, explained the Preparatory Document and the dynamics of the consultation in the local churches to the youth ministry directors of the episcopal conferences and the young people present.

On the evening of Friday, Apr 7, in the Sala Sinopoli of “Rome’s Music Park,” Gen Rosso and Gen Verde gave a concert to which hundreds of young people were invited and attended. The place was chosen carefully, as it was intended to be a “bridge” of dialogue and sharing for the young believers with all their peers.

Then, on Saturday, Apr 8, all gathered in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore together with Pope Francis for a prayer vigil in preparation for the Mass for World Youth Day, which would be celebrated at the diocesan level this year and again next year.

On Sunday, Apr 9, all the delegates participated in the celebration of World Youth Day at St Peter’s Square, where the Pope himself presided. Sr Terry L

 

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